Impacts of SDN/OpenFlow on Telecommunication Networks

The Business Unit NGNI of Fraunhofer FOKUS and the chair AV of TU Berlin are developing the new OpenSDNCore toolkit to investigate the potential, opportunities and challenges on applying SDN principles on telecommunication networks.

Having a large historical background on research and development on telecommunication networks, we are now investigating the impact of SDN in telecommunication networks. In particular we are addressing the following non-exclusive research areas in SDN/telco:

  • Continuing the 3GPP EPC control and data plane split further on in the packet core gateways. Separating forwarding functionalities from the gateways in the user plane part of the gateway and the control and management functions in the control part of the gateway.
  • Enablement of network-aware services and core network enhancements for service-awareness for networks. Using the flexibility of SDN to enhance the 3GPP PCC functionalities.
  • Flexible Traffic Management including Adaptive Flow Placement and Elastic Network Design. Flexible access- and core network topology management for supporting Self-Organizing-Network (SON) concepts and enabling smart resource control.
  • Enabling efficient backhauling considering forwarding consistency, fast routing information convergence, reliable data forwarding according to transport and core network requirements
  • Enabling data traffic forwarding parallelization, data traffic steering, backhaul level offloading for massive broadband communication between end-users and data centers and between data centers
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Fraunhofer FOKUS

Applying SDN concepts on the telecommunication networks enables flexibility on the data plane and increases the performance at the same time. Current resource limitations in today’s networks are addressed through this approach. Fraunhofer FOKUS and TU Berlin are developing OpenFlow support within the OpenEPC for validating and proof the presented concept.

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